Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ex-NYSUT Pres Tom Hobart, Spills the Beans c. 1974

it’s in our interest to maintain a number of poor, and to make sure that we don’t have open admission policies like the City University of New York has..... If we assume that we take the major goals, both the NEA and the AFT, which is to improve the educational qualities for every child in the school, and we succeed at that, I suggest to you that we’ll destroy the world economy. Because if we better educate every child in America, and make it possible for them to be say at the lowest level a technician, they’re going to start to demand a greater share of the resources because they now have the ability to take better jobs.... Tom Hobart
They gagged Tom right after he said this in 1974 and I remember we jumped right on it.

I deal with so many people with different ideologies but my 40 year old core group, now diminished by the loss of the Priscos who were at my house one year ago for a similar meeting just before they both got sick, seems to have the best analysis - I'm fading fast.....

Despite my delirium after getting off a flight that left 7 hours late - 4 AM LA time and arrived at JFK around noon - I didn't get home 'til after 1 - I met with Ira and Vera who came out to my house from around 2-6PM to talk about UFT history in prep for tomorrow's MORE event. Ira and Vera can't be there so I wanted to bask in their wisdom - and memories. I took some notes that I will share tomorrow. We were going through stuff from the 70s I saved from Sandy and some of that work is remarkable. Ira has almost everything but I will bring a selection to tomorrow's MORE event at  (Who Runs The UFT? Why Are There Alternatives?) The Dark Horse
17 Murray St. NYC Near City Hall, Chambers St, WTC


I still haven't slept - after they left I had a bite and went over to the theater to do my little role about midway through Act 1, so I was able to leave. But Vera typed up this statement from Hobart which she feels lays out where the union leaders are coming from.

Our core of people from the early 70s through today have had a different take than many others. Vera believes Shanker was not "just" a teacher, but an organizer sent in to do a job - by exactly by whom is not clear but we have some ideas. Vera has been slaving away over the last few weeks gleaning nuggets. And in case you never read our review of the Shanker bio/hagiogrpahy "Albert Shanker: Tough Liberal" -- check it out for some historical analysis:
Albert Shanker: Ruthless Neocon - Review by Vera Pavone and Norman Scott in New Politics
http://newpol.org/content/albert-shanker-ruthless-neo-con
Our thesis is that there is no break in social democracy from the right (SDUSA) from Shanker through Weingarten and probably through Mulgrew to some extent. I found out some info in LA about the AFT ops around the world that reinforces this view.

For those who will accuse us of being conspiracy theorists -- Leo Casey was at the bat on twitter the other day re: the common core critics -- teacher enemy number 1, Eli Broad, was one of the major backers of the Shanker bio.

I'm heading to bed but wanted to get this out -- check it out if you are coming tomorrow or even if you're not.
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From Presentation by Tom Hobart, NYSUT, to National Council of State Education Associations, December 2, 1974
[The topic is quotas]
I think the role of our organization is to produce the power that’s necessary to defend the rights and amendments. And I think we have to look at the economics again, and just see what the problems of the world are. If we assume that we take the major goals, both the NEA and the AFT, which is to improve the educational qualities for every child in the school, and we succeed at that, I suggest to you that we’ll destroy the world economy. Because if we better educate every child in America, and make it possible for them to be say at the lowest level a technician, they’re going to start to demand a greater share of the resources because they now have the ability to take better jobs.
And since our world economy is based on the fact that there must be so many unskilled workers, and so many semi-skilled, and so many skilled technicians, and so many professionals, that if we just attempt to do what we are talking about, then we are looking at the major economic powers that are out to resist us. I think they’re already there. Does anybody doubt that the major economic powers in this country have not noticed what we’ve done in political action, and does anybody think that they’re willing to turn over the politics of America to teacher organizations? Does anybody doubt that every action has a reaction, and every power has a counter power that’s going to be built up. And what—how are they going to keep us from exercising that power.
Well, they’re going to come into our organizations and they’re going to try to set up things that we are going to fight among ourselves over, so we never come together as a powerful organization.
……
Now, if I had statistics on who is excluded from higher education and graduate schools, it could be taken one step further. If we call it the poor of America, and we all accept there are more minority people who are poor than any other group. But again it’s an economic situation that we have and not a race situation. If we don’t maintain the status of the unskilled and skilled and the professional, then we’re going to be unable, you and I, to have two color TV sets and two cars, and move to a bigger house next year. So it’s in our interest to maintain a number of poor, and to make sure that we don’t have open admission policies like the City University of New York has.

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